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    Peer Reviewed

    World Bank will lend more money to India for AIDS.

    Jayaraman KS

    NATURE MEDICINE. 1998 Jul; 4(7):750.

    This article discusses the World Bank's plans to lend India money that will be used in part to fund HIV/AIDS prevention and control. The loan amounts to about US$200 million, of which 25% would be directed to research and development for HIV/AIDS. The loan is a 5-year extension of support that ended March 1999. The loan will cover the cost of blood safety programs, hospital and community care plans, and medical drugs for treating opportunistic infections. According to the Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research, research and development money will be split between indigenous AIDS vaccine programs and assessment of local production of HIV diagnostic kits and development of vaginal microbicides. The government will support clinical trials of more than herbal medicines for treating tuberculosis. Funding will also support evaluation research on cost of patient care and the HIV/AIDS impact on the work force. A major focus will be on the high risk population of women and children. The World Bank requires that 50% of the loans go to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). However, the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) of India lost government financial funding and will not be able to fund NGO efforts directly. NACO must channel funding through state governments. There is fear that the AIDS control program will suffer due to the restructuring of operations and shortages of manpower. The AIDS program funding could be halted by the Bank due to India's nuclear testing.
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